Deep in Taliban country, girls are going back to school
Malala Yousafzai's charity helps revival of girls' education
Picture: Christian Science Monitor
On weekday mornings in Mingora, the largest city in Swat Valley, Pakistan, the streets are filled with boys heading to school. Among them are smaller groups of schoolgirls laughing and tucking books under their arms, as they, too, head to school.
The scene highlights how far the region has come in the past few years: The Swat Valley, famed for its picturesque mountains, saw more than 400 schools destroyed – more than half of them girls' schools – when the Taliban took control of the region in 2008.
The valley was cleared of the Taliban by a military operation in 2009, but it's taken a while for girls to fill the schools again. Girls struggle to simply get to school in the remote mountainous region and the persistent issue of poverty remains key. The Taliban is considered a greater threat in areas that border the valley, but activists here say there's a need to make sure girls as well as boys are educated in order to avoid a repeat of the past.
“There is a feeling [in Swat] that if we are not educated these things will happen again," says Hazer Gul, a local activist. "The Mullahs misinformed us. They [the community] have understood that education is the key to avoiding militants.”
Enter the Malala Fund: The fund named for Malala Yousafzai, the young girl who was shot point blank by a Taliban gunman for her vocal support of school for girls in the region, aims to improve access to primary school education for children around the world. Her survival of the Taliban attack on her schoolbus one year ago October, shined a spotlight on Pakistani girls education - and made her a global spokesman for the millions of Pakistani girls the movement would like to deny education.
Source: Christian Science Monitor
Maids deserve to have same labor rights as ordinary employees, activists say
Candidates make clean election vow in front of Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle
Workers protest outside the prime minister's palace to demand fair wages
Son of late dictator Marcos picks up support from key pro-life, charismatic groups
Amid hardliners opposition, the new government shows few signs of changing apartheid-like conditions in Rakhine State
NEW! Premium ContentGet full access. Start your 14-day free trial today.
NEW! Premium ContentThank you for registering! Your 14-Day Free Trial begins today.Here is your login details to access Premium Content:
NEW! Premium ContentOops! That email address has already been registered. Please try again.